Manchester city centre blossoms into urban paradise with Dig the City gardening festival

By Helen Le Caplain

Manchester city centre was transformed into a green-fingered paradise this weekend as urban gardening festival Dig the City burst into bloom.

Five show gardens line label-lovers’ haven New Cathedral Street to inspire shoppers to indulge their inner Alan Titchmarsh and create their own dream garden.

For those short on time and space a ‘busy urbanite’ garden display, using balcony and roof terrace areas with window boxes and pots, should inspire those even with the smallest of homes to utilise their space effectively.

Johanna Wood an artist turned landscape gardener, of Green & Wood Garden Design, has a keen interest in making the most of a postage stamp-sized garden.

She said: “I was so excited to be approached to design a garden for Dig the City. I want to give my show garden the sense of having been designed for a real person and a real setting.

“Because the festival aims to encourage urbanites to ‘green up’ their spaces I chose to design a small roof terrace to show just how even the tiniest space can be a garden oasis.”

Environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth bring a Bee Cause garden to Dig the City.

The UK’s bee population is in sharp decline and are under threat largely due to the loss of their natural habitat – they have lost 97% of their grassland habitats in the past 60 years. 

The Friends of the Earth garden aims to avert the disaster facing our native bees and features bee-friendly planting.   

The festival is on until August 11, for more information visit

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles